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The global economy in 2017

Businesses look beyond uncertainty as global optimism rises

Our findings from the latest International Business Report show business leaders around the world, for the most part, enter 2017 in a positive frame of mind. During 2016 business leaders faced an unprecedented level of uncertainty, particularly in the UK and the United States. The estimate for global growth fell from 3.6% in 2016 to 3.4%. Despite this business, optimism stood at a two year high of 38% at the end of 2016. However, business optimism has dropped to a two year low in Singapore to -28%  and in other developed economies of the Asia Pacific, such as Japan.

Grant Thornton’s International Business Review (IBR) will provide quarterly insight into business sentiment in these turbulent times.

The IBR draws on more than 10,000 interviews with business leaders and international economic forecast data, this latest report explores the growth drivers and constraints facing dynamic businesses over the next 12 months including economic uncertainty, export growth, and business propensity to reinvest among other indicators.

  • Global business optimism stood at 38% at the end of 2016, representing a five percentage point jump from the previous quarter, and the highest level in almost two years.
  • Despite Brexit we have witnessed a marked rise in business optimism across the European Union, up six percentage points from 28% to 34%.
  • Globally the proportion of firms expecting revenue to increase in 2017 has climbed to its highest figure in nearly two years.
  • Half of the businesses tell us they expect to generate greater levels of revenue, but only 20% plan to offer wage increases to their employees above inflation rates.